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Oncogene. 2002 Mar 14;21(12):1812-22.

Constitutive expression of the Id-1 promoter in human metastatic breast cancer cells is linked with the loss of NF-1/Rb/HDAC-1 transcription repressor complex.

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Geraldine Brush Cancer Research Institute, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, California, CA 94115, USA.


The helix-loop-helix protein Id-1 is a dominant negative regulator of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, and plays a key role in the control of breast epithelial cell growth, invasion and differentiation. Previous investigations in our laboratory have shown that Id-1 mRNA was constitutively expressed in highly aggressive and invasive human breast cancer cells in comparison to non-transformed or non-aggressive cancerous cells, and that this loss of regulation is mediated by a 2.2-kb region of the human Id-1 promoter. Here we show that a 31 bp sequence within this 2.2-kb promoter, located 200 bp upstream of the initiation of transcription, is responsible for the constitutive expression of Id-1 in metastatic human breast cancer cells. Using gel shift experiments, we identified a high molecular weight complex present only in non-aggressive breast cancer cells cultured in serum-free medium and which appear to be necessary for proper Id-1 repression. In contrast, nuclear extracts from highly aggressive and metastatic cell lines do not contain this large molecular weight complex. Using DNA affinity precipitation assays (DAPA), we show that this complex contains SP-1, NF-1, Rb and HDAC-1 proteins. On the basis of these findings, we propose a mechanism for the loss of regulation of Id-1 promoter in invasive and metastatic human breast cancer cells.

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